As someone who contributes to numerous blogs and has a few of her own, I’m always browsing around the Web looking for inspiration and trying to find ways to improve my own content. There’s definitely an interesting contrast between personal blogs and those that belong to certain brands. While checking out the blogs for individual brands, I found that some corporate companies are absolutely killing it by honing in on a specific target audience/demographic and providing interesting, useful, and entertaining content for them. Those of us who write for smaller brands can definitely learn a thing from these four in particular.
The Brand: Whole Foods
The bloggers at Whole Foods really know what they’re doing when it comes to catering to their audience. Just look at their page – you’re greeted immediately with pictures of mouth-watering (probably organic) meals and treats which encourage you to read the surrounding text. With a closer read, you find that Whole Foods wants to supply its customers with recipes, tips, and information about different types of foods: namely, the ones they sell in their stores.
What we can learn: master the art of the how-to! Clearly, if you’re a big enough fan of Whole Foods that you’re checking out their blog, you’re probably a foodie to some degree. Whole Foods is doin’ it right because they show you cool things you can do with their products.
The Brand: Flickr
You know Flickr – the photo-sharing site renowned for offering its users an insane amount of storage and presentation space. It’s got one of the coolest blogs around, especially for photography lovers (which, one can assume, is nearly everyone in their target audience). Their posts are rife with super-cool, eye-catching pieces of art and often contain very little text aside from descriptions. They also have monthly themes and encourage their readers to get involved and submit their own themed photographs.
What we can learn: a picture is worth a thousand words. Blog posts don’t always have to be text-centered. And, maybe more importantly, get your readers to engage by contributing their own content.
The Brand: Zappos
Zappos faces a bit of a challenge: they don’t have a very niche target demographic, and they sell everything under the sun, so generating fresh content could be considered a bit difficult. They jump this hurdle pretty gracefully, though, by distributing their posts amongst multiple bloggers who all specialize in something different. They do weekly themes, such as Designer Picks and Wanderlust Wednesdays, which serve as a prompt and get their readers into a groove so they know what to expect from the blog.
What we can learn: weekly themes are useful when you feel like your blog is drifting from its intended focus and when your idea well is running dry!
The Brand: Modcloth
Modcloth’s target demographic is extremely niche, especially in comparison with the aforementioned brands. They reach out to twenty-something females who love somewhat retro, alternative clothing. For someone who fits the bill, their blog absolutely never gets boring to read. From their conversational, informal language to their cute, girly graphics, reading the Modcloth blog is kind of like having a chat with a friend.
What we can learn: be the target demographic! These blog posts don’t just talk about what cute clothes are for sale on the site – they offer recipes, recommend books, post art, discuss style icons and celebrities, and much more. You can tell their brainstorming sessions involve them getting into the mindset of their target audience and figuring out what things they’d want to talk about, which, to the potential customer, makes the blog worth sticking around for.